I’m Baaaaaack…

September 25

Sunrise this morning. Photo courtesy of Deb Neal on Saltaire. ‘Cuz I slept in!

As an early Anniversary gift for Debbie, I returned to the boat yesterday to celebrate the best 32 years of my life. Weather on Lake Michigan really degrades after Labor Day to the point Debbie and crew were only able to travel 6 of the last 14 days. We are looking at a number of days before travel is possible so since I have improved so much I drove to Muskegon, Michigan to relieve Dave and Sue. Got up this morning, went to breakfast and off they went. Spent the afternoon touring the Silversides museum and World War II submarine of the same name.

Following are 2 short videos taken near the marina. This is a video of the north side of a breakwater. Pretty calm water, protected.

This video doesn’t exist

This video is 10 feet away on the other side of the breakwater. 15 mph winds have whipped the water into a frenzy. With 80 miles to build up waves, winds of only 15 mph can build 6 foot waves.

Beach, Michigan??? Sand everywhere. If you live near the water, in the winter residents shovel snow. In the summer they shovel sand out of their front yards.

This could be a beach anywhere on the east coast.

This is the USS submarine Silversides.

I have prop envy.

This is the head (toilet) on Silversides. Being on a submarine means even something as basic as using the toilet requires significant engineering. Look at the lower left of the photo and you can barely make out a handle (I drew a little circle around it) to pump the contents of the toilet to a holding tank. The large pump handle on the right of the toilet was for use on Wednesdays.

Because of “Taco Tuesdays”


During our tour we met a former Navy fella who works for the museum. On the subject of the head/toilet, he told us a story about a German U Boat that sunk due to improper use of the toilet. That story is in the following post in it’s entirety. Some stuff, ya just can’t make up.

BTW, ya know why they call th toilet on a boat the “head”?

Anyone? Anyone?

Back in the day when sailing ships plied the seas, the place for the crew to relieve themselves was all the way forward on either side of the bowsprit, the integral part of the hull to which the figurehead was fastened. There was a big net that the crew would lay on whilst doing their business.

I dunno what this is but the graphic is pretty cool.

If you are a gearhead like me you will find this schematic of the 4 diesel engines on the sub interesting. If not, skip and scroll down. There is a crakshaft on the bottom and one on the top of the engines. Compression takes place between the 2 pistons. One compression stroke results in twice the power. I have never seen an engine like this. Brilliant engineering. This sub was built in the late 1930’s.

These subs were called Diesel Electric submarines. The diesel engines only operated when the sub was on the surface. Their only task was to recharge the giant batteries on the boat. When submerged the submarine’s propellers were powered by electric motors which ran off the batteries.

This is a piston. HUGE!!!

Hell no I didn’t leave the dollar!

This is Steve Smith. He and his lovely bride Carol are doing the Loop on a beautiful Grand Banks trawler. To his left is a torpedo. The torpedo would be pulled above the bed and inserted into the firing tube you can see in the center of the photo.

Closer photo of the firing tubes.

This device was deployed on destroyers. It would contain 24 of the black devices (this specimen only contained 23). This is called a “Hedgehog”. It was used in anti submarine warfare. Mounted on the front of a destroyer, all 24 of the “hedgehogs” would be fired at the first hint of sonar contact with an enemy sub. They exploded on impact. One direct hit would/could cripple an enemy sub. 2 direct hits would sink it.

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